Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Jacob Kent Langhorne

Today at Brandy Station: May 18, 1863

There is a terrific website titled "Valley of the Shadow" (http://valley.lib.virginia.edu/VoS/sitemap.html)

Among other documents, newspapers and photos, the site contains letters and diaries from soldiers from Augusta County, Virginia and Franklin County, Pennsylvania. If you haven't visited this site, I highly recommend it.

The letters of Jacob Kent Langhorne are part of the collection. Kent is an 18 year old trooper who recently joined the Wise Cavalry Troop of the 2nd Virginia Cavalry. He would take part in his first fight at Brandy Station on June 9. It would also be his last fight.

On May 18, he penned a letter to his sister from Culpeper Court House. It read in part:
Culpeper CH
May 18th, 1863 Dear Sister
I received Mamas letter two or three days ago and received yours and cousin Kate's yesterday. I have had quite a nice time since I have been in camp. I have made the acquaintance of a good many nice officers. Capt Steptoe is one of the nicest gentleman I ever saw and is so kind to me. I understand that Floods & Pickets divisions are camped near here & Jones, Imboden, Hampton, Jenkins and W.H. Lee are and in fact all our cavalry forces are here. We expect to leave here for some unknown point in a day or two…. Love to all. I am your Bro, Kent.

It is almost a typical letter. Kent had received letters from home and was getting along well. He didn't mention his health, and his camp gossip was wrong, as no infantry had arrived and the cavalry was just beginning to gather in the county. And the cavalry would of course remain in Brandy until mid-June.

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